MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals have avoided arbitration with first baseman Eric Hosmer by agreeing to a two-year, $13.9 million contract. The deal will pay Hosmer a $5.65 million salary in 2015 and $8.25 million in 2016, covering his second and third years of arbitration eligibility. He will be arbitration-eligible for a fourth and final time in 2017 and can then hit the free agent market.
Hosmer batted just .270/.318/.398 with nine home runs and 58 RBI in a disappointing 2014 regular season, but the 25-year-old then went off for 20 hits and 12 RBI in 15 postseason games as the Royals marched to the World Series. He could be poised for a true breakout in 2015.